Indonesia to cull millions of chickens, curb egg hatching to support prices

JAKARTA, Sept 1 (Reuters) - Indonesia’s farming ministry has ordered breeders to cull millions of chicken and reduce the number of hatching eggs to control a slump in poultry prices, the ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

Oversupply of chicken has been a recurring problem in Indonesia, where last year the government told poultry breeders to cull around three million chickens.

The farming ministry told breeders on Java island to cull 4.4 million chickens by Sept. 13, according to a circular letter from the ministry.

It also told poultry companies to cut the number of hatching eggs by 7 million per week between Aug. 25-Sept. 5.

The ministry expects the supply of chicks will start coming down this month through to December due to the policy, the statement said, while gradually improving the price of live birds.

Independent chicken farmers group (PPRN) said in a statement on Tuesday market prices of live birds this year fell below the government’s benchmark floor price due to oversupply and below the costs of animal feed.

Chairman Alvino Antonio W. said prices of live birds at the farmer level fell to as low as 7,000 rupiah (48 U.S. cents) per kilogram in the first quarter, around a third of the government floor price of 19,000 rupiah. ($1 = 14,575 rupiah) (Reporting by Bernadette Christina Munthe Additional reporting, writing by Fransiska Nangoy Editing by Ed Davies)